Nelson Mandela: Free At Last
On February 11, 1990 the whole world watched as Nelson Mandela walked to freedom. He had been a political prisoner held in a tiny cell for 27 years. In this documentary you will witness Mandela’s struggles against Apartheid and all the injustice suffered by black South Africans eventually leading up to his imprisonment. You’ll learn of the events that led up to Mandela’s release, and hear the powerful first words he spoke when he was finally set free.
Mandela once said “there’s no easy walk to freedom.” Little did he know that he would live out his own words. Apartheid was imposed in 1948 and it divided the country into racial groups: Black, Whites, Colored and Indian. Although the White population was the minority, they owned and controlled 87% of the land and almost 100% of all the natural resources.
For years Anti-apartheid activists around the world demanded the release of Mandela. Their demands sparked countless demonstrations, UN resolutions, and even rock concerts to boost awareness. But nothing much seemed to happen until 1989 when Mandela himself wrote a long letter to the president of South Africa at the time, Botha. In fact, the letter was so lengthy that it filled two whole newspaper pages. In his letter he spoke about many different political and social issues that affected their nation and the world. And he vowed that he would make it his business to play a personal role in facilitating talks. He specified that he was acting on his own initiative in the hope that the ANC would support his actions.
It was South African President F.W. De Klerk that announced to the world that Mandela would be released the following day, February 11, at 3:00 p.m. Although it would have been a lot easier and safer to lift him out of the prison courtyard in a helicopter, Nelson Mandela insisted that he wanted to walk through the gates. His decision became a logistical nightmare due to the massive amount of people that they knew would crowd the place trying to get a glimpse of history.
Just as he had predicted, his walk to freedom had not been easy.